• Obamacare: Six Years of Failure

    It sounded good on paper. We were promised that if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. We were promised that families would save $2,500 per year by 2012, and have lower out of pocket costs.

    Six years later, it’s clear that Obamacare was nothing but lies and half truths. What we got were lost plans, lost doctors, and sky-high premiums. We got deductibles so high that insurance becomes useless.

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “When Democrats rammed Obamacare through Congress, Republicans warned it would be a disaster for Virginia families. Sadly, we’ve been proven right time and time again, as people see their insurance costs go up and the value of their plans go down. President Obama’s promised savings are nowhere in sight.”

    “Virginia Republicans remain committed to repealing Obamacare and replacing it with patient-centered, market-driven reforms that will let families, not federal bureaucrats, determine what insurance works for them.”

    “Hillary Clinton likes to tell voters that before it was Obamacare, it was Hillarycare. Virginia Republicans will be reminding voters of that fact often between now and November.”
  • The Real McAuliffe Record on Jobs: Abysmal

    Governor McAuliffe talks a great deal about how his administration is bringing jobs to Virginia.

    The reality, though, is something quite different.  From January 2014 through January 2016 – the last month for which state statistics are available, Virginia added just 50,598 jobs. During the same period four years ago, Virginia added nearly 148,000 new jobs.

    As the Richmond Times Dispatch noted last week, Governor McAuliffe is taking credit where credit isn’t due. From the editorial:

    “…If governors should take the credit for new jobs created, then they also should bear the blame for old jobs destroyed. The past few months have witnessed several large layoff announcements: 190 at Owens & Minor, more than 200 at Altria, several hundred more at Newport News Shipbuilding, and so on.”

    “The other day The Winchester Star even reported that “a human resources company (TalentWise) that plans to close a local operations center received more than $45,000 in state funds months before announcing the shutdown.”

    “Funny: The governor’s press office hasn’t said a peep about any of that.”

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “It’s what we’ve come to expect from the McAuliffe-Clinton-Northam team: lots of talk and  raft of celebratory press releases, but very little substance. For many announcements made by the McAuliffe Administration, there’s also an unheralded layoff notice filed. Virginia’s economy, like the rest of the nation, has been hobbled by President Obama’s liberal policies – the same policies Hillary Clinton says she’ll continue if elected president.”

    “We need economic development with substance, not unfulfilled promises. Virginians want an economy that can travel faster than 35 miles per hour and isn’t held together with glue, so to speak. That’s why Virginians are going to elect a Republican president in November.”

  • Chairman Whitbeck: Americans Deserve a Voice in SCOTUS Appointment

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

    “I’m disappointed that President Obama, Sen. Mark Warner and Sen. Tim Kaine are working to deny the American people a voice in the direction the Supreme Court. When voters head to the polls in just a few months, they will have a unique opportunity to determine the direction the court will take for the foreseeable future.”

    “Obama, Warner, Kaine, and other Democrats seek to disregard 80 years of precedent by attempting to nominate and confirm a Supreme Court justice during a presidential election year. Democrats should observe the Biden Rule, and let the voters have their say. Our fellow citizens deserve no less.”
  • Sen. Amanda Chase: Engaged Citizens are the Key to Good Government

    Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, delivered this week’s Virginia Republican Address.


    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “Hello, I’m Senator Amanda Chase, of Virginia’s 11th Senatorial District, which includes most of Chesterfield County, all of Amelia County and the City of Colonial Heights.

    This is my first session as a State Senator and my two top priorities are to be accessible and approachable to my constituents. In an effort to be accessible, I co-founded the Virginia Transparency Caucus this session. The purpose of this caucus is to focus on bringing the government to the people and making it more accessible.

    I know before I got into politics, one of my frustrations, as a mom of 4 children and a small business owner, was that I was very busy and didn’t have time to go to the General Assembly and lobby on issues that were important to me, and that left me feeling disconnected from my government.

    The Virginia Transparency Caucus encourages its members to agree to record the committee and subcommittee meetings where their bills are heard as a means of providing more information to constituents. Many times, the majority of work on legislation is done in committee, not on the Senate floor. I believe that by providing this perspective to constituents, it not only keeps them better informed but encourages their participating in the process.

    My desire is to create an atmosphere of transparency where citizens can easily see what goes on in all committee and subcommittee meetings during session and even access past archives of meetings, so that the everyday average citizen can come home after a hard day at work and see what happened to a bill that they are interested in and follow that bill through the legislative process.

    Also, in an effort to provide a three-dimensional perspective as to what’s going on in the Senate, I regularly post on my Facebook page to let constituents know what issues we are considering in committee and on the floor. I have often asked for their feedback as I’m preparing to vote on legislation and I love to interact with constituents in this way.

    I encourage you to follow your elected officials on Facebook and engage with us through emails, phone calls and visits. You the people elected us to represent you in the General Assembly, and I believe that needs to be an ongoing conversation. So please reach out to us with your concerns, and we will do our best to keep you as informed as possible.

    I’m Senator Amanda Chase. Thank you for watching and have a great weekend.”

  • Del. Chris Stolle: Republicans Propose a Conservative, Responsible Biennial Budget

    Del. Chris Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, delivered this week’s Virginia Republican Address.


    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “Hello, I am Delegate Chris Stolle and I represent the 83rd District in the Virginia House of Delegates. It is a privilege to serve as a member of the oldest continuing operating legislature in the western hemisphere.

    As you know, this is the year that the General Assembly adopts a two year state budget. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, we have been hard at work on finalizing our proposal to fund the government.

    This past week, the House unveiled its budget proposal. Our budget is a conservative, responsible, and structurally balanced budget that invests in the core functions of government while protecting precious taxpayer resources. Our budget does not include any tax or fee increases, and when adjusted for population and inflation, general fund spending has decreased by 5 percent over the last ten years. Our budget deposits 605 million dollars in the state’s rainy day fund, saving our taxpayers resources should times get tough again.

    Our budget makes significant investments into K-12 education. The proposed funding exceeds the Governor’s recommendations by nearly $70 million. We have proposed a 2 percent pay raise for teachers. Most notably though, is our plan to send $272 million of lottery proceeds back to the localities with no local match required and no mandate on how the money must be spent. Our K-12 education budget provides localities with much needed flexibility and relief in providing for our children’s education.

    We also make significant investments into higher education. Our budget builds on our efforts to make college more affordable for Virginia students and families. We increase support for in-state students and hold tuition increases at no more than 3 percent.

    We recognize that Virginia’s economic growth still lags behind the national average. The importance of good paying, private sector jobs remains our primary focus. That is why our budget funds strategic and targeted investments in economic development, while promoting increased accountability and legislative oversight. One of the new initiatives that will help us do this is GO Virginia, a regional economic development initiative that brings business and education leaders together to help vet economic development projects.

    We continue to look for conservative solutions and make key investments into strengthening our healthcare safety net. We understand the importance of taking care of our neighbors, and that is why our budget includes $28.9 dollars in new funding for substance abuse treatment, increasing eligibility for the mentally ill, and creating additional developmental disability waiver slots to address the critical waiting list for our most vulnerable citizens.

    While we may have completed work on our budget and have passed the House version, we still have a long way to go. Now, House and Senate negotiators go in to conference to work out the differences between the two budgets. I encourage you to stay connected with your representatives throughout this process to have your voice heard. Government works best when its citizens are actively engaged and involved.

    I’m Delegate Chris Stolle. Thanks for watching, and have a great weekend.”

  • Sen. Bill DeSteph: Virginia Republicans are Paving the Way for the Future of Driving.

    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “Hi, I’m Senator Bill DeSteph, and I represent the 8th Senatorial District, which includes the majority of Virginia Beach.During this General Assembly session, we’re working on significant issues facing the Commonwealth, including the budget, education, and the Second Amendment.

    But we’re also working on legislation that will pave the way for the future of transportation in Virginia.Senate Bill 286 ensures that Virginia consumers can purchase and have access to engaged driving technologies that promote advanced safety standard.

    Autonomous vehicles mean jobs to Virginia. Virginia is the first state to allow the testing and acceptance of autonomous vehicles on the road today.This is an evolutionary technology, not revolutionary technology, reflecting the steady improvement of automotive safety.

    In the 1970s, we had cruise control. Next came lane assist, and then collision detection. Then came dynamic cruise control, a great technology that lets you drive from Virginia Beach to Richmond without touching the gas or the brakes. When the car in front of you starts, you start. When it stops, you stop.

    All of these technologies allow for increased safety and help prevent distracted driving.Some of the questions surrounding these technologies are “Who will be held liable with an accident?” This is handled like insurance. Coverage is on the car not on the driver.

    Higher education institutions like Virginia Tech and technology companies all around the Commonwealth are working together to make this future a reality. We should see the roll out of these vehicles in late 2017 or early 2018. We’re creating the laws to allow this technology in Virginia over the next 20 years.

    Virginia has always been at the vanguard of technology. Just a few years ago the Internet was a novelty. Now 70 percent of the world’s data flows through Northern Virginia every second of every day.

    With bills like SB 286, Virginia will continue to be a global leader by allowing evolutionary technologies. Thanks to our efforts, the Commonwealth is prepared to accept these vehicles.

    I’m Senator Bill DeSteph. Thanks for watching, and have a great weekend.”
  • Chairman Whitbeck: “Justice Scalia’s Legacy Will Last Forever”

    RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement on the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia:
    Many Americans have come and gone from the Supreme Court bench, but few have left a legacy as rich and important as Justice Scalia. A staunch defender of the Constitution, Justice Scalia’s opinions often served as the bright line marking the edge where erosion of our rights would be allowed to progress no further. Even in cases where he was not a member of the majority, Justice Scalia’s powerful dissents planted the seeds for future generations to discover the clear voice of limited government. His legacy will last forever.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Justice Scalia will be sorely missed.John Whitbeck, RPV Chairman

  • Del. Jay Leftwich: At Crossover, Republicans are Pursuing Bold Conservative Ideas

    Del. Jay Leftwich, R-Chesapeake, delivered this week’s Virginia Republican Address.

    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “Hi, I’m Jay Leftwich and I represent the 78th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. It is an honor to serve in the Virginia General Assembly as we work on behalf of the Commonwealth and her citizens.

    We just wrapped up our fifth week of session, which means we are almost at the halfway point of our 60 day session. All of that bills that were introduced in the House this year must be completed by Tuesday, what is known as crossover day. On Wednesday, all of our legislative agenda will be sent across the hall to the Senate for their consideration until the end of session. The House will then begin to start working on the legislation the Senate passed so far this year.

    Our legislative priorities this year focuses on bold conservative ideas. We passed bills that will foster job creation, encourage and incentivize economic growth, and reform the regulatory process to protect small businesses.

    We also passed legislation aimed at creating new opportunities in education by promoting choice and flexibility, encouraging early education, and continuing to work on reforming our educational curriculum and testing.

    And we remain committed to meaningful healthcare reform, including increasing access to care and controlling costs – but not through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

    We work every day to live up to our principles of fiscal responsibility and limited government. We keep those principles in mind as we continue to craft the two year state budget. We will adopt a responsible, conservative budget that strategically invests in the core functions of government while protecting precious taxpayer resources. We understand the need to invest in priorities, but we must do so in a fiscally prudent manner.

    Our agenda offers real solutions to make life easier for Virginia families to get ahead. But we can’t do it alone. We need to hear from you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Delegate and share your thoughts on this session. I’m Jay Leftwich. Thanks for watching, and have a great weekend.”

  • Memo: Hillary in Virginia — Go Big or Go Home

    Memo
    To: Interested Parties
    From: Chairman John Whitbeck
    Date: February 11, 2016

    Re: Go Big or Go Home

    Execution is everything.

     

    And for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, executing in the Commonwealth of Virginia is her last chance to prove that her campaign isn’t reenacting 2008 all over again.

     

    After her massive loss to socialist Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire, Hillary must regroup, and fast. Major donors have already begun to make noise about a Joe Biden contingency plan, and it’s far from certain that Clinton is going to win the all-important FBI primary.

     

    The good news for Hillary is that there’s no reason she shouldn’t roll to a massive win in Virginia over Sanders.

     

    Clinton has had 8 years since her stinging defeat in 2008 to build the bridges she needs to utterly crush Sanders in the Commonwealth. Openly embracing Obamacare, Hillary has made it clear that she claims the mantle of President Obama’s third term.

     

    First Friend turned Governor Terry McAuliffe was elected in 2013, and has had one political objective since then – locking down the Commonwealth of Virginia for Hillary Clinton.

     

    Hillary’s entire campaign has been modeled as the national version of McAuliffe’s 2013 Virginia campaign. Manager Robby Mook went from Northern Virginia to Brooklyn, along with other key staff. Hillary has run far to the left on issues like gun control as well, hoping to capture the same hard-left base that gave McAuliffe his margin of victory in 2013. W

     

    McAuliffe has been working for years to turn the Democratic Party of Virginia in to a Hillary for President field office. McAuliffe has dumped some $1.7 million into the organization since he took office, parking likely Clinton staffers in the organization, and quietly lining up supporters to back Clinton’s play in Virginia.

     

    Clinton has also locked up the endorsements of every statewide Democrat and a host of key Democrat leaders in the General Assembly. Hillary has already won the inside game in Virginia over Bernie Sanders. But as New Hampshire showed, that’s not everything.

     

    On paper, Virginia is without a doubt Clinton country, but you wouldn’t know it based on her field operation. According to a recent news report, “Sanders appears to have a more organized ground game in Virginia. game. Clearly, Clinton is taking success in the Commonwealth for granted and expecting Terry to deliver a win.  Her first field office in Virginia opened last night. She should win handily – and must – in order to prove this isn’t 2008 all over again.

     

    In short, anything less than a massive win for Hillary Clinton in Virginia is a major disaster, and sure sign that her southern “firewall” isn’t stopping her campaign from feeling The Bern.
  • Sen. Bryce Reeves: Virginia Republicans are Fighting for the Second Amendment

    Sen. Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, delivered this week’s Virginia Republican Address.


    Remarks as prepared for delivery:

    “Hi, I’m Senator Bryce Reeves of Virginia’s 17th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Albemarle, Culpeper, Louisa, and Spotsylvania Counties, as well as Orange County and the City of Fredericksburg.

    One of the top priorities of Republicans during this year’s General Assembly session is reversing the recent action of the Attorney General, which seeks to end Virginia’s concealed carry reciprocity agreements with many states. My fellow Republicans and I in the General Assembly are committed to protecting the 2nd Amendment rights for all Virginians, particularly the 421,000 law-abiding Virginians who hold concealed carry handgun permits and are directly affected by the Attorney General’s action.

    I am proud to help lead the charge on this matter by carrying Senate Bill 610, which restores and protects the existing reciprocity agreements Virginia has with other states, as well as expands such agreements with additional states.

    I am happy to announce that we are on a clear path to achieving this. Just last Friday, the Governor announced his intention to sign this bill when it reaches his desk.

    Just yesterday, my reciprocity bill passed the full Senate with bipartisan support. The House’s companion bill to Senate Bill 610, introduced by Delegate Michael Webert, is on its way to passing as well. We are now one step closer to getting this done and ensuring that the Constitutional rights of Virginians are upheld and protected.

    Republicans in the General Assembly are steadfast in guaranteeing that law-abiding Virginians have the right to protect themselves and their families from violent attack, whether they are in the Commonwealth or out of state. We will continue to stand by you, our constituents, and ensure your rights are protected.

    I’m Senator Bryce Reeves. Thank you for watching and have a great weekend.”

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